Photography by Dan Barham and Blake Jorgenson
We are not party planners here at Bike magazine. Probably because it's not often we play the role of hosts, preferring to concentrate on what we're good at—having fun— and leave the actual planning to those far better suited to sweating the small details. Thus, as we headed into Thursday night's party at Crankworx to celebrate Bike magazine's 20th anniversary we had the nerves typical for a first-time hosts: Will anyone show up? What if everyone hates the music? What if no one has fun?
Thankfully, we need not have worried. In fact, we wished we would have had more space at the venue, the FireRock Lounge at Whistler's Westin, to avoid the backlog when the Lounge reached capacity early in the night.
It was shoulder-to-shoulder inside the bar and on the outside patio for most of the evening as 300 industry friends, contributing writers and photographers and professional riders packed in to share a drink with old friends or peruse the photographs from past issues that were hung on four large black walls.
To celebrate the anniversary, Bike's photo staff selected 100 images from the magazine's 20-year history that depicted the action, scenery and culture of the mountain biking lifestyle. Each image was printed on canvas and mounted on plywood of varying depths and sizes. All the photographs were for sale with proceeds benefiting the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association, and the first person who coughed up the cash (or plastic) claimed the print, leaving those who didn't act quickly enough with non-buyer's remorse.
"Is there any way I can get another copy of that photo of Jimi Hendrix?" joked one slightly intoxicated party-goer referring to a rider kitted out in long pants, a feathered jacket and aviator sunglasses who graced the cover of the Funk Issue in 1997. "I REALLY want that, but it's already sold."
The bartenders could barely pour fast enough keep the thirsty crowd at bay, but any impatience caused by slow-moving lines may have been tempered by the episodes of “Bike TV” circa late 1990s playing on the televisions above the bar featuring the young 'Fro-Riders' and a Lycra-clad Hans Rey with a blonde ponytail snaking out from his helmet leading ragtag riders around Laguna Beach.
By the end of the long evening, more than half the photographs had sold and the Lounge staff had to shoo the large crowd out of bar at closing time. It may have taken us 20 years, but looks like we're not so bad at this party planning thing after all. Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated with us.